Thursday, December 26, 2013

Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies  by Isaac Marion
(borrowed from my local library)

This is another book that I read because they made a movie from it.  I don't necessarily watch the movies, but I hope that  the source material is really good, if it gets turned into a film.  There are no guarantees, but it seems like it should, at least, be a fair indicator, as far as I'm concerned. It's not any worse than any other way of choosing a book.

This is a zombie book, but the zombie apocalypse that everyone can't keep from discussing, is different here.  Marion's zombies have no recollection of who they were, or how long they've been zombies, or how they got to be the way they are.  When they eat a brain, they get a flash of the person who it belonged to.  That is, until R eats the brain of Julie's boyfriend and everything changes.

Julie is living with the rest of humanity in a large arena.  I picture the post Katrina living conditions, but done better, thank goodness. There's a military efficiency and a view toward keeping humanity and civilization intact.  Outside of these small,  defended enclaves there is just chaos.  Organized groups go on raiding patrols to kill zombies and gather up any remaining survivors and/or supplies.  

While out on one of those raids, Julie and the group she is with are attacked.  R sees her and something in him changes. He decides that he wants to save her, and he does. He takes her back to the airplane, where he lives and he tries to protect her.  Julie and R both realize that he isn't like other zombies.  Is he just different, or is he changing?  And, if he's changing, does that mean it's possible for all of the zombies to change?

Marion has taken the zombie story and he's turned it on its ear.  Although, considering that cartilaginous pieces like that are the kind of parts that fall off of the (un)dead, that may not be the best idiom in this particular case. Would a zombie apocalypse be permanent?  Would the world be made up of just the undead, the dead and the soon to be dead?  What would happen if just one of the undead and one of the still living joined up and made a case for a new world order?  R's inner voice, which is infinitely more eloquent than he's capable of expressing, offers new insight on the currently hip blight on humanity.  There's a fresh kind of hope for the future here, despite the bleak landscape.  Much like how R's world goes from the gray he sees among his kind and the brightness of life he sees when he looks at Julie.

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